Private Thomas Arthur McAuley

 

Thomas Arthur McAuley was born on 6 May 1894 at Letterkenny, County Donegal, the fifth or sixth of twelve children of merchant David McAuley and his wife Jeanie Anne (nee Williams). By 1911 he was boarding at 7 Clarendon Street, Londonderry, and working as a gentleman's outfitting business apprentice to the firm of Semple & Thompson's of Ferryquay Street.

McAuley enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 or 9 September 1914 (No.1174). On 18 December 1914 he embarked for France, one of a draft of twenty reinforcements for A and C Squadrons – the first such group sent to France. McAuley was probably posted to C Squadron.

In June 1916, C Squadron joined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and most of its men were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Like most of the men, McAuley was transferred on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41495. He may have seen action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917, and the retreat from St Quentin in March 1918.

From August to November 1918 the battalion saw much fighting in Belgium during the Advance to Victory offensive. A report in the Belfast News-Letter of 11 October 1918 stated that McAuley had been wounded.

On 15 March 1919 he was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.